Initial Descent: March 12 – 18, 2017

Woe
Woe

I’m not going to ramble on this week because not only do we have some stellar music for you in the top four slots but we have plenty more in store beyond that. Oh and I’m heading out to the Atlanta Decibel Tour in a few short hours so expect some words on that in the coming days, should be epic. Stay tuned. Up first is Woe‘s incendiary Hope Attrition that basks in its ability to see the current state of affairs as they really are and calls for action instead of complacency, vicious black metal with a message. Next up, Fange return with their second full length Pourrissoir and somehow they’ve managed to retain all the nasty sludge qualities that made their debut so amazing but here they hone their song craft to a sharpened tip of extremity. Third up is legendary US death metallers Obituary with their tenth full length Obituary, and yes the band still has it after all these years and yes it will be a treat to see these guys tonight (had to throw that in there). Last but not least is Saille with their melodic yet epic black metal on Gnosis and if you’ve yet to experience this band now is as good a time as any, you won’t be disappointed. So there you have it with the top slots but there’s so much more to explore after the jump. Continue reading

Donuts & CANTO: Hail of Bullets, Destruction, King Woman and more!

rip-hail-of-bullets

March 16, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from yesterday:

  • Hail of Bullets is dead, long live Hail of Bullets. The Dutch death metal crew have officially called it quits, a year and a half after parting ways with vocalist Martin van Drunen.
  • Hey, thrash kids! DestructionWarbringer and Jungle Rot are going out on tour together in May and June. Destruction dropped an album last year, Warbringer is dropping an album at the end of the month, and Jungle Rot is Jungle Rot.
  • So this is kinda neat: Tuesday night’s King Woman show in Brooklyn was supposed to be cancelled, with frontwoman Kristina Esfandiari stranded across the country thanks to Winter Storm Stella. And then, this happened. Huge ups to Kristina, Saint Vitus and the hero woman responsible for this turn of events.
  • Author & Punisher have signed to Relapse Records, and will be releasing a new album through the label early next year. I haven’t ever really listened to Author & Punisher, but whatever this concoction is sure seems amusing.
  • Dutch symphonic black metal weirdos Carach Angren have released details about their upcoming album, Dance and Laugh Among the Rotten, out June 16. One of the album’s preorder packages includes a set of dice — you know, just in case your list of vices includes both cheesy metal and gambling.
  • I’m sure, somewhere out there, someone’s thinking to themselves, “boy, I could sure use some grandma-fronted grindcore in my life.” Well fear not, possibly-existent person: The Grindmother are touring the U.S. later this month and April. I sure could not use any grandma-fronted grindcore in my life, so I’ll be taking a pass.
  • And finally, Animals as Leaders released a video for “Cognitive Contortions,” which you probably shouldn’t watch while high. Or maybe you should. I dunno. Here it is:

Another condition that should merit caution before watching this video? Thinking that you’re good at music. Anyway, that’ll do it for now, but check back this time tomorrow for our next edition!

Keep it heavy,
Dan

Initial Descent: February 19 – 25, 2017

immolation
Immolation

As February draws to a close and just as spring has sprung early, this week the metal gods have rained fire upon us at Initial Descent. Keep the hoodies out for a little longer but dust the shorts off and prepare for a blisteringly loud round of new releases. The undisputed death metal kings Immolation have returned with their tenth full length Atonement and if you’ve yet to hear it GO NOW AND DO IT, for a band in their 29th year this New York group ages like a fine bourbon. King Woman gives us Created In the Image of Suffering and it is yet another stellar offering of doom metal with beautiful vocals, Stalking the Ghost is Unearthly Trance‘s sixth full length and much like I mentioned with Immolation this band also ages extremely well going into their 17th year with arguably their best album yet and Power Trip brings the hardcore thrash like only they can with Nightmare Logic. See? Told you it was going to be a loud and chaotic week — but as usual that’s not all so dig your headphones in deep and keep them there. Continue reading

Album Review: Unearthly Trance – “Stalking the Ghost”

unearthly-trance-stalking-the-ghost

There’s something to be said for slow. Slow takes its time working into your system. Slow is subtle, it’s insistent in worming itself into the folds of your pleasure center. Sure, it can also be damning — stuck for a musical idea? Hit one chord for an hour, throw some drums around it and turn the reverb up — you’ve got yourself some funeral doom. But I’m interested in the trick of the slow, deep dark: how something can lie in the background for days only to suddenly and without warning lift its grizzly head and swallow you whole. Because that’s what Stalking the Ghost, the new album by sludge/doom lords Unearthly Trance did to me, and I’m still trying to figure it out.   Continue reading

Album Review: King Woman – “Created in the Image of Suffering”

createdintheimage_3000

Bay Area by-way-of NYC musician Kristina Esfandiari is building quite a name for herself these days. Whether you know her from the fuzzed-out doom of King Woman, or from her softer solo work in Miserable, there’s a good chance you’ve listened to her distinctive voice, even if you haven’t realized it. Now it’s time for that wave of recognition to reach a new peak with King Woman’s debut full length Created in the Image of Suffering, which sees the band double down on the heaviness and melancholic beauty of their past body of work.   Continue reading